Thimbleberry bushes attract a myriad of wildlife. The flowers are a source of nectar for butterflies, the berries are relished by birds and mammals alike and the dense cover of the large leaves acts to protect animals and birds from predators.
Partridge, cardinals and grosbeaks are just some of the birds that feed on the ripe berries. Competition for the berries is stiff! Bears, coyotes, racoons, squirrels, foxes, opossums and skunks are also very fond of these juicy little treasures.
Then there are the rabbits, porcupines and beavers. Then the deer and moose all feed on the twigs, buds and leaves. It’s a wonder any of these shrubs can survive!
To the left is a photo of a ripe thimbleberry. You can see in the far left hand top corner where I removed one of the berries. The middle part of the flower is what fruits. Once it turns that dark red colour you can harvest it although it is a very clumsy experience. It is so delicate that it literally squishes between your fingers. I must have been quite the sight as I licked the mushed berry off my fingers and thumb! It is sweet with a kick of sour at the very end. What a treat it is!